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Windhoek, Namibia

News Article
Site: http://phys.org/biology-news/

The study, by Dr Girish Chandra Pant of the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, assessed the present and future resource potential of Sal seeds, existing market mechanisms and their role in livelihood generation for rural communities in India. The Sal tree, Shorea robusta, is an evergreen species native to India, Myanmar and Nepal. Sal seeds are an important non timber forest product and source of income for about 90,000 forest fringe villages with a combined population of 56 million. The Sal seed is prized mainly for its oil, which has significant potential for export markets due to its low price. During the months of May and June, many rural people in central, eastern and northern India collect the seeds in order to supplement their incomes until the agricultural season begins. "There is an urgent need to attract villagers to Sal seed collection work, fix the procurement rates at a level that allows at least a minimum wage to be collected by the collectors, assess the sustainable harvesting levels and practices to ensure timely processing of the seeds to preserve their quality, and increase awareness among collectors to avoid the use of unhygienic sacks and pesticides for storing kernels," states Dr Pant. Based on his investigation of Sal seed collection activities at three sites in Uttarakhand state in northern India, the author recommends that clear-cut guidelines be set for estimating collection quantities so that planning for collection and marketing can be prepared accordingly. In addition, "the government should review the decision to ban Sal seed collection in Kumaun and allow the use of Sal fat in food items such as chocolates and ice creams," he concludes. The current ban on collecting Sal seeds in Kumaun was imposed to improve the regeneration of Sal trees in this region. More information: The paper is available online: www.pertanika.upm.edu.my/Pertanika%20PAPERS/JSSH%20Vol.%2023%20(3)%20Sep.%202015/09%20JSSH%201144-2014.pdf

Brotherstone S.,University of Edinburgh | White I.M.S.,University of Edinburgh | Sykes R.,Forestry Research | Thompson R.,Rothamsted Research | And 3 more authors.
Silvae Genetica | Year: 2011

In the analysis of forestry experiments, there may be a need to adjust for competition between plots before predicting deployment performance in the field but there have been few attempts to investigate this. Our analysis looked at diameter data from a 19-year old Sitka spruce clonal trial growing in Scotland. Using a sequence of nested models, a likelihood ratio test indicated that fitting competition at both the genetic and residual level provided a significantly better fit than models which either ignored competition or fitted it at just the genetic or just the residual level. A strong negative genetic correlation of -0.93±0.05 was found between the direct genetic effects and competition effects. This was not significantly different from -1, indicating that competition is almost exactly proportional to the direct genetic effect and that a tree will exert a competitive effect which is closely related to its own genetic merit for size. At the residual level, the correlation between direct and competition effect was estimated as -0.17±0.03. We conclude that competition exists at both the genetic and environmental levels and including it in genetic evaluation systems gives a better prediction of future performance. Results also demonstrate that it is possible to obtain useful information about competition effects from a single-tree plot experiment. Source

Mowa E.,Forestry Research | Maass E.,Forestry Research
South African Journal of Botany | Year: 2012

The present study investigated the germination enhancement of Harpagophytum procumbens using sulphuric acid and effective microorganisms. H. procumbens is a geophyte that occurs mainly in central, east and south east of Namibia where it was previously regarded as a nuisance due to its fruit-claws getting caught on sheep and other livestock. H. procumbens seeds were pre-treated in effective micro-organisms (EM) resulted in a germination rate of 32%, while those pretreated with sulphuric acid H2SO4 germinated to 17% compared to 5.3% that germinated from the control. The combination of EM and H2SO4 resulted in a lower germination percentage than as expected. The study concludes that sulphuric acid and effective micro-organisms enhance germination in H. procumbens. It is therefore recommended that the two treatments be considered to H. procumbens stakeholders who have been struggling with the germination of the species. Follow up research is required. © 2012 South African Association of Botanists. Source

News Article
Site: http://www.materialstoday.com/news/

3A Composites AirexBaltekBanova’s research on applied genetics to improve balsa quality in commercial plantations has been awarded the Sacha Award in the category of Forestry Research. The Improved Balsa Genetics Program analyses genetic and propagation to obtain identical specimens to be used to establish improved balsa plantations. The company has also won an award for its long-term commitment to best environmental practices in the use of legal timber and forest care. ‘3A Composites AirexBaltekBanova has always been a driver in making forestry management sustainable and we heavily invest in R&D to improve the quality of our balsa’s sourcing business,’ said Roman Thomassin, CEO of 3A Composites Core Materials division, producer and manufacturer of the AirexBaltekBanova products. ‘All our balsa production centers in the world are 100% FSCcertified and our balsa products come from sustainable resources.’ The Sacha Awards are awarded every two years and cover the best forestry management and processing of legal timber practices in Ecuador. This story is reprinted from material from 3A Composites, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.

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